Bob Boyer, R.C.A. (1948-2004)

Acoma Flyway
Acoma Flyway, 1996
acrylic on paper, 29½" × 21¾"
Two Quetzalcoatls on Annual Leave
Two Quetzalcoatls on Annual Leave, 1995
fresco on wallboard, 48" x 72"
Dancers and Music Rescuers with 500 Phone Calls
Dancers and Music Rescuers with
500 Phone Calls
, 1994
mixed media on blanket, 70" × 45.5"
Kipp at Fort Kipp
Kipp at Fort Kipp, 1999
acrylic on canvas, 24" × 24"
Hoka Hey Let's Go
Hoka Hey Let's Go, 2002
oil on canvas, 20" × 30"
Indian Psychology 101sold
Indian Psychology 101, 1997
oil on canvas, 52" × 55"
Sitting Bull's Camp at Big Beaver
Sitting Bull's Camp at Big Beaver, 2002
oil on canvas, 24" × 30"
Night Travellers
Night Travellers, 1996
acrylic on paper, 30" × 22"
August Powwow Evening in the Bitteroots
August Powwow Evening in the Bitteroots, 2001
oil on canvas, 24" × 30"
Let's Blame it on the Rainsold
Let's Blame it on the Rain, 2003
oil on canvas, 30" × 48"
My Visit to the Fire Mountains
My Visit to the Fire Mountains, 2001
oil on canvas, 24" × 30"
Duck & Dive at St. Ignatius
Duck & Dive at St. Ignatius, 2001
oil on canvas, 24" × 30"
We Go to The Hills to Pray
We Go to The Hills to Pray, 2002
oil on canvas, 30" × 40"
Oklahoma Two Step
Oklahoma Two Step, 2001
oil on canvas, 24" × 30"
Rain Dance, Sunrise
Rain Dance, Sunrise, 2001
oil on canvas, 30" × 46"
Keepers of the Fire
Keepers of the Fire, 1999
acrylic on canvas, 24" × 30"
Night Travellers
Night Travellers, 1996
acrylic on paper, 30" × 22"
Night Travellers
Toltec Sunset
oil on canvas, 24" × 20"
Etowah Hills
Etowah Hills, 1996
oil on canvas, 30" × 35"
Kokum, Moshum Mountains
Kokum, Moshum Mountains
oil on canvas, 24" × 20"
Horse Over Atlantic
Horse Over Atlantic
oil on canvas, 20" × 16"
Pipe Dreams and Buffalo Women
Pipe Dreams and Buffalo Women, 1996
acrylic on paper, 30" × 22"
The Yellow Paint Hills
The Yellow Paint Hills, 1988
oil and acrylic on paper, 40" x 26" each (diptych)

Slideshow

Bob Boyer, R.C.A. (1948-2004) – Artist Biography

Bob Boyer (1948 - 2004)
Bob Boyer (1948 - 2004)

Born in 1948, Boyer was a virtual renaissance man in his efforts within the aboriginal community. Through his own work and tireless support of Aboriginal artists, he helped foster the recognition and importance of Aboriginal art in Canada. As head of the Department of Indian Fine Arts and Associated Professor of Indian Art History at the Saskatchewan Indian Federated College, Bob inspired many students through his lectures on Native art and culture.

Boyer is perhaps best known to the gallery-going public for his politically charged blanket paintings, one of which NOW newspaper art critic Deirdre Hanna described in 1994 as “an in-your-face reminder of the devastation wrought among Canada's First Nations and the kind of virtuoso turn that has earned Boyer a place in most of Canada's public collections.”

Since those earlier, angrier days, Boyer had, by his own admission, discovered a kind of spiritual calm and happiness. His recent paintings reflect this in their use of colour, mixed media and graphic elements. The artist's trenchant humour, however, often adds an ironic dimension to his paintings' pleasing decorative quality.

His innovative use of traditional symbols and icons, expressed in a sophisticated contemporary painting style, had brought Bob Boyer to the forefront of Aboriginal image making. His artistry won him important solo shows, including a major 1999 exhibition at the Thunder Bay Art Gallery entitled “Spiritual Landscapes: Recent Paintings by Bob Boyer”.

Past solo exhibitions include a critically acclaimed show at Gallery Gevik and exhibitions at the Mackenzie Art Gallery and the Edmonton Art Gallery. Prestigious group exhibitions include the Museo de Arte Contemoraneo de Monterey show “1492” where he was exhibited alongside Eric Fischl and Jean Michel Basquiat.

Bob Boyer is represented in many museums across Canada including the National Gallery, the McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Museum of Civilization, Calgary's Glenbow Museum, and the Mendel Art Gallery in Saskatchewan.

View artist's C.V.

Excerpts from Exhibition Catalogues

Bob Boyer: Spiritual Landscapes; Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, ON, 1999

Bob Boyer: Spiritual Landscapes
Thunder Bay Art Gallery, Thunder Bay, ON, 1999

Positioning and context are words that are germane to a discussion of the work of artist Bob Boyer. His recent work represents a departure in a number of ways. He has changed the content of his images and the structure of the work itself. As a First Nations artist whose work and politics were interrelated, Boyer has now chosen to withdraw from the political forum. His work is no longer issue-oriented and can no longer be summarily identified as making political statements or taking a particular formal approach, as was the case with his blanket paintings. Boyer's recent work is about the personal and the spiritual and his relationship with his culture on that level. The references to earlier work that remain are elements that are an inherent part of Plains Indian culture and that speak to his heritage and to time spent on the powwow circuit as a dancer.

Boyer came to fresco through his interest in the history of the technical processses associated with the act of applying pigment to a surface. Fresco is a painstaking process but it forced the artist to work more simply, to reduce the complexity of the abstract patterns, the reliance on structure, and allowed him to move away from the blanket series and take artmaking in a new direction. His love of surface texture and colour remain, and the works, regardless of scale, are freer, elemental and immediate. They take the viewer, as the artist intends, to a place of the spirit. Boyer's work is unique.

— Janet Clark, Curator

Daphne OdjigDaphne Odjig, Canadian Indigenous Artist and Icon Dies at 97. Click here for more details.

Odjig is frequently referred to as the "Grandmother of Indigenous Art." She has been the recipient of many awards, honours and recognitions for her works, to name a few: The Order of Canada, the Governor General's Award, and eight Honorary Doctorates. Her works have been shown in the National Gallery of Canada, The McMichael Canadian Art Collection, the Canadian Museum of Civilization and the Art Gallery of Ontario.


She established the first native-run fine art print house in Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1971. Known as 'Odjig Indian Prints,' this print house was so successful that it evolved into an Indigenous gallery space in 1974, called the New Warehouse Gallery, run by Odjig and her husband, Chester Beavon. She was also a founding member of the Indian Group of Seven. This artistic group's purpose was to promote Contemporary Indigenous art and artists.

Alex JanvierAlex Janvier's major retrospective, "Alex Janvier: Modern Indigenous Master" was recently on display at the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Alex Janvier is one of Canada's most acclaimed contemporary Indigenous artists. His career of sixty-five years has yielded thousands of paintings, and more than twenty-five murals and public commissions.

This exhibition has now travelled to the MacKenzie Art Gallery in Regina, Saskatchewan until September 10th. The retrospective will end off at the McMichael Canadian Art Collection in Toronto. No official dates have been announced as of yet. (Photo credit: Kim Griffiths)

Rita LetendreGallery Gevik congratulates renowned Canadian and International abstract painter, Rita Letendre, on her first major museum retrospective exhibition outside of Québec. Rita Letendre: Fire and Light is now open until September 17, 2017 at the Art Gallery of Ontario.

This exhibition, which covers Letendre's career from the 1960's to 2000's, is co-curated by Wanda Nanibush and Georgiana Uhlyarik. The retrospective features nearly forty large-scale paintings drawn from major national public and private collections.

Letendre was widely exhibited with the artistic groups, Les Automatistes and Les Plasticiens. She has received the Governor General's Award in Visual Arts, the Prix Paul-Émile Borduas, and the Orders of Canada, Ontario and Québec. Click here for more details.